City, SAPS, protect beneficiaries of R110 million Kraaifontein housing project
The City of Cape Town’s law enforcement agencies supported by the South African Police Service assisted the Sheriff of the Court in serving an order on those who illegally occupied parts of the City-owned Tygerberg Race Way land in the Bloekombos area of Kraaifontein today, 6 August 2020. Operations continue, there has been violence and the area remains volatile. Land invasion is an illegal act and the City and law enforcement agencies are acting to prevent the loss of its planned R110 million Maroela North Housing Project in its entirety. The City is protecting the interest of hundreds of project beneficiaries as well as the surrounding communities. Orchestrated land invasions cannot be condoned as it stretches already finite City resources and negatively impacts on planned housing, service delivery or community projects. Read more below:
Vacant structures have been removed in the areas surrounding the Race Way area and vicinity in accordance with the court order. The City acts to protect its projects and land that has been earmarked for the expansion of basic services and land reserved for community facilities. It acts to prevent the extreme flooding that affects people who settle on floodplains and in wetlands. It continues to prevent the illegal occupation of land and stand up for those law abiding residents in our communities and or beneficiaries who have waited for many years for their housing opportunity.
There have been attempts of organised land invasion at many of the City’s Breaking New Ground housing projects across the metro, which are currently under construction. Beneficiaries of these housing projects are also some of the most vulnerable in Cape Town.
The City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato, has escalated the City’s concerns to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In July 2020, just in the Bloekomsbos area of Kraaifontein alone, the City has removed 21 500 pegs which are used to plot out sites for illegal occupation as well as 4 500 vacant structures. Attempts to invade projects in Wallacedene, Bloekombos, Delft, Mitchells Plain, Dunoon, Milnerton and various projects and land earmarked for services in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Hout Bay and in the Helderberg continue.
‘We sincerely thank all involved, including the SAPS, for their help to remove vacant structures and to help us ensure the rightful beneficiaries of this project can be helped when the time comes. Organised land invasions really places communities and service delivery at risk. While we have a great understanding of the need for accommodation due to the dire and dysfunctional state of the South African economy, what we have mostly seen over the last few weeks and months especially are highly organised invasions which are impacting on housing and service delivery plans.
‘We do not have the resources to cater to new settlements forming overnight and this impacts our neighbourhoods and existing housing and services projects. We urge political parties, activist organisations and community leaders to please consider the bigger picture and to stop driving or condoning land invasions for short-term gain as the long-term impacts are immense,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi.
R1,3 billion worth housing projects are under threat from land invasions.
Mahama Housing Project in Khayelitsha: we have lost land earmarked for 420 of the 1 100 opportunities to an illegal land invasion. Unfortunately 420 families who have waited patiently on a housing waiting list have had their rights undermined. The City does not have unlimited money and human resources. We need to be careful that we do not create more unplanned settlements which end up diverting the money that we have away from our planned projects.
From 2018 to date, 358 hectares of private and public land have been invaded in the City.
R162 million water pipeline in Enkanini Khayelitsha and surrounds under threat.
The City monitors attempts and acts where it can. It uses aerial imagery to track attempts to occupy. It uses photographs and video to document operations. It makes decisions on operations in collaboration with a number of stakeholders, including the SAPS and the relevant law enforcement operations. It follows the rule of law and as all metros do in the rest of the country, it attempts to thwart land invasion as it becomes flood, fire, health and safety risks for the occupiers and the broader communities.
Anonymous tip-offs welcomed:
Residents can give anonymous tip offs if they are aware of illegal activity that is taking place; that has happened or is still to happen. Please call 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.
Statement issued by Councillor Malusi Booi, Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, City of Cape Town, 7 August 2020